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1909 South American tour legacy

By John  Shearon :  07/06/2009 :  Comments (6) :
This weekend, the world?s eyes were on Normandy where, 65 years ago on the 6 June, Allied troops began the push towards Berlin and a close to the war in Europe. Although not on the same scale, both in terms of numbers and importance, 35 years earlier to the day, a English invasion was taking place in Argentina whose impact would resonate around the world during the intervening century.

On 6 June 1909 the first professional match in South America took place between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur ? an event highlighted this weekend in this attached piece from the nation?s leading newspaper, El Clarín.

Although there had been earlier tours by English clubs, Nottingham Forest & Southampton, this was the first occasion when two professional clubs had measured up to each other in the New World ? a feat not to be repeated until the Argentine league turned professional in 1931.

The match was played before the President of the Republic and his senior ministers as well as an 8,000 crowd, who had braved the heavy rains to witness the master-class. William Tull of Spurs and Bert Freeman of Everton were the players to catch the eye, both scoring in the 2-2 draw. Although Freeman was to play on until 1924, Tull died in France in 1918. He was the first black officer in the British army and has since become a symbol against racism.

The tour proceeded with Everton and Spurs both beating local and representative sides from both Argentina and Uruguay. A rematch between the two clubs several days later saw Everton thrash Spurs (4-0) and so lay the foundation for what is a very unique phenomenon ? the birth of the Argentine Evertons.

We know that, on 24 June 1909, a club was formed in Chile that will soon be celebrating its centenary ? CD Everton. At the same time, however, other Evertons were either founded or sought to change their name.

There had already been an Everton FC in Buenos Aires, founded in 1906 (the year of Everton's FA Cup Final victory over Newcastle). In 1909 however, Club 25 de Mayo in La Plata, just outside Buenos Aires, changed its name to Everton, despite the protests of older members who objected to the adoption of a ?gringo? name for their club.

In 1910, in Escobar, Buenos Aires province, clubs were named after both Everton and Spurs (the only known example of the latter). These merged to form Escobar FC who again merged in 1912 to form CA Independiente.

1910 also saw the town of Alberdi with its own Club Everton. In 1912, Everton from San Jorge, Santa Fé merged with For Ever to form the still thriving CA San Jorge. Again in the province of Santa Fé in 1914, in Cañada de Gómez, yet another Everton was founded which today plays under the name of Asociación Deportiva Everton Olimpia.

In 1922 in the province of Córdoba in Coronel Moldes, Club Everton were founded who today have their own cinema and golf course. In the same province in Cruz Alta, Club Everton were founded in 1914. In 1946 they merged with local rivals Club Jorge Newbery to form CA Jorge Newberry & Everton ? known today as Newberton.

Finally, in the town of Gerli in Buenos Aires province, Club Everton, which was playing in the lower divisions in 1916-17, changed its name in 1919 to Club Piñeyro.

There may well be other Evertons dotted across the southern half of South America. In the town of Rosario in Uruguay, Club Atlético Everton, which was founded in 1922, thrives today and there are references in the works of the great Uruguayan writer, Mario Benedetti, to teams called Everton.

You have to ask yourself, would there have been a plethora of Tottenhams across the Cono Sur had they won the second game instead of the Toffees? I would hope not ? although the tour and the successful part we played in it ? certainly gave some impetus to the birth of so many clubs bearing our name, we mustn?t forget the role played by the ex-pat community in these locations, so many of them from the city of Liverpool.

Much of the detail and investigative work referenced in this article was provided by Jorge Gallego, an Argentine football historian from the CIHF (Centre for the Investigation of Football History) who is an authority not only on early South American football history but also early English football history. If you want to know anything about Sheffield FC then Jorge?s your man.

Reader Comments

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Gerry Quinn
1   Posted 08/06/2009 at 02:01:42

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Fascinating John,
I knew about the Chile Everton, and was aware of an Argentinian one, but the story you unfold is so unique. thanks for sharing and what have Everton themselves done in relation to the other clubs bearing our proud name? I am sure that you have informed them...can you imagine a summer cup tournament between Everton, Everton and Everton!
Salvadore Allende
2   Posted 08/06/2009 at 08:16:35

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Great stuff John. Looking forward to the book. Good luck to yourself and the others for the forthcoming trip to celebrate the CD Everton Centenary in Vina del Mar.
John Shearon
3   Posted 08/06/2009 at 12:31:44

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Thanks Gerry ? I?ll be updating the Club on our "cousins" over the next few weeks. We have a trip planned from 19th June to visit CD Everton for the centenary (24th June) as well as Everton La Plata and Everton Rosario (Uruguay).
Tony Heslop
4   Posted 08/06/2009 at 13:44:17

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Cheers John. I did promise an article in an earlier post and lo and behold!

We did give the game a namecheck at the Cuff evening as well, mindful that the great man was one who encouraged the trip and the general pioneering spirit of the Blues.

Just to correct you on one fact, it was Walter Tull who played for Spurs, having just joined from Clapton FC. William Tell was the man who shot an arrow through an apple. Whatever, both teams played this game as an overture to a symphony of delights which truly touched the South American continent. Bainbridge, a director who did travel with the team, expressed the hope that in a small way they had brought something special to the continent. And how!

Glad to see too that you and those who go out to South America this month will get the blue carpet treatment, not only in Chile but also in Argentina and Uruguay, from clubs delighted to re-establish the link with "Mother Everton".

Who knows, by the time you get back, the Ruleteros may once again have won the Chilean Championship and be in the market for a little tour of their own.
Ever forever.

Dennis Stevens
5   Posted 08/06/2009 at 22:34:13

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Undoubtedly Everton were fated to be the team the South Americans took to their hearts, one only has to recall the problems Ardiles had pronouncing Totteringham decades later to realise this, or maybe they just liked the royal blue shirts.
Karl Masters
6   Posted 09/06/2009 at 19:35:07

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Is there any news on the match mentioned earlier this year between our Everton and the Chile Everton?

If I was Bill Kenwright and looking to find the right type of investor ( a man with a sense of history and maintaining an institution rather than a semi-gangster with dollar signs in his eyes ) I’d be bending over backwards to get this fantastic and truly unique historical link publicised the world over. And what better way of publicising it than a match between the 2 teams, especially in the centenary year of CD Everton and when both Clubs are enjoying a renaissance?

Of course, I am assuming he really is looking for investors..... Hmmm

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